Tuesday, December 15, 2020

Weird Things Whose Purpose Was Unknown Until the Internet Came to the Rescue, Part 2

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From: 


People asked on the internet what the following items were for. The internet came to their aid . . . 
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Storm water retainer. This concrete structure is for storm water retention so that sewers aren’t overwhelmed. 
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Radioactive site. This whole scenario went so far that the press became involved. Inspectors from Radiation Control checked out this person’s crawlspace, but ultimately didn’t find anything dangerous. Apparently, the warning label was from the 1950s, but nothing significant was found in the red boxes. 
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Purse fastener. The internet explained that this round metal object is the top (closure part) of a purse or small handbag. This circular ring would have been stitched to the top of a purse, and used to open and close it. 
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Invalid’s cup. It’s an “invalid’s cup,” though it should have a more sensitive name. Basically, it was an older version of a modern sippy cup for the weak and sick who couldn’t get up to feed themselves. 
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Freshwater Drum. These are the teeth of the American freshwater drum fish. These fish have human-like molars that they can use to crush oysters and mussels. Unsurprisingly, they’re also known as grunter, gooble gobble, and grinder fish. 
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Hag Moth. This thing is a hag moth. Hag moth larva are known as “monkey slugs” due to their hairy legs. Thankfully, these ugly bugs aren’t harmful to humans and they don’t damage crops. 
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Termite Frass. It was advised via internet that these are “frass.” The dictionary defines it as “fine powdery refuse or fragile perforated wood produced by the activity of boring insects.” In the words of an internet contributor, “Call a pest control man ASAP.” 
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Miracle Eye. This is a light sensor that can be turned on and off, so that when on, the clock will not make chime noises unless it senses light. This way at night it does not wake people up. 
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Rocket debris. Apparently there was recently a Chinese Long March 3B rocket launch that failed, and the rocket and its payload was seen reentering the atmosphere near Gam. 
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Aztec Sun Stone. A helpful internet user identified this object as a mottled jade Aztec Sun Stone. It’s “a sculpture dedicated to the sun with hieroglyphs of days, months and suns.” 
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Horseshoe Game. This is part of a children’s indoor horseshoes game. A helpful user explains, “It is missing a small red peg that goes in the middle. It is one of two stakes that came with rubber horseshoes in a child’s indoor horseshoe game. Had one just like it as a kid.”
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Germ Key. This is “a germ key,” used “or opening door handles without touching them. 
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Polypore Fungus. This is gross. Also, they are edible. It was identified as “a polypore fungus that is exuding excess moisture, called guttation.” It turns out that polypores are types of fungi that have pores or tubes on their underside. They also form “large fruiting bodies.” 
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Ornamental Missile. This missile used to be mounted on a plinth outside a nearby military high school. 
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Massive wrench. A handy response told this poster that their wrench is “totally functional.” They continued, “I work at the Federal Reserve and ‘the old vault’ is an attraction.” 
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3D Maze. The general consensus is that this is a 3D maze. Redditors speculate that it’s used for a children’s camp, or other types of outdoor activities, like paintballing. Other users suggested it was an example of “baubotanik,” the practice of building structures using plants. 
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Coffin style lid. Apparently, the item is a “Septic tank for sure.” A contributor reassured them that they’ll “find a pipe on either end” if they dig further down. Apparently, this is an old-style tank, which were buried between 1-3 feet below ground level. 
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Monster Imposter. A contributor: “My guess is that the milk solids from the condensed skim milk fell out of solution and combined within a matrix of sodium alginate to form a gum. It is also possible that an error occurred in production and the concentration of alginate was too high.” 
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Russian War Relief Pins. Apparently, a month after Germany attacked Russia in 1941, an organization was set up in New York to give relief to Russia. The group was called the Russian War Relief, or The American Committee for Russian War Relief. These bears are pins from that WWII era. 
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Antique Fire Grenade. While this glass item looks like a salt shaker without any holes, it’s actually a very old throwable fire grenade. One contributor responded that it “Looks like a fire grenade from early 1900s” and explains that some were filled with water, and others with a chemical concoction. When thrown, these gas bulbs filled with chemicals would smother a fire by removing the oxygen. 
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Learning marble solitaire. This is “marble solitaire,” which is also known as “peg solitaire.” Of Rather than using cards, this version of the game uses marbles or pegs. 
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The Flat File. Essentially, this is a chest of drawers but each drawer is open-ended, with a hole in each drawer. A Reddit user explains that it’s an artist’s cabinet or flat file – “You want to be able to get under the artwork without bending up the edges, which would damage it if done repeatedly. So you push it up from the hole and/or slide it off the edge of the drawer.” 
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